World War II is apparently the most destructive human conflict in the history of mankind. It can be described as the resultant effects of the biased and poorly managed reparations of World War I. the WW2 saw many countries reacting fiercely to their opponents, which saw many lives lost and damages incurred.
As such, most of us have read about the history of World War II in the classroom. There’s still a lot of facts that remain unknown to most people. Here are the top ten unknown facts about World War II that most of us probably weren’t aware about.
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10. Russia had the highest number of casualties
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Russia was the country that recorded the largest number of casualties during the war, making up the list of unknown World War II facts. Russians recorded over 21 million deaths during the war, which was more than 30% of the total number of casualties during the war period. The total number of deaths during WW2 was about 70 million people. A great number of these casualties also came from China, Poland and Germany.
9. About 4% of the American army composed of Jews
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The American army that took part in the WW2 was made up of roughly 600,000 Jews, out of 16.1 million. Over 35,000 of these Jewish soldiers were killed, captured, wounded severely or went missing. Despite that, only two of the soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor. Many other Jews were also used in some gruesome experiments by the Nazi doctors. The Jews played a major role in this war, with most of the cruelty of humans making up the unknown facts about World War II revolving around them.
8. Angel of death
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Speaking of gruesome experiments, the Nazi doctors were some of the most ruthless and maddening scientists that make up the list of unknown facts about the World War II. The infamous Dr. Josef Mengele, nicknamed the Angel of Death performed some of the grisly experiments on humans especially twin children of Jewish descent. He captured over 6000 children, half of which were Jewish for his maddening genetic experiments. Plucking out the eyeball of a child and attaching it to another kid, changing eye colors by injecting them with dye and sewing kids to form conjoined twins were some of his craziest experiments on humanity.
7. Hitler’s protection unit, SS carried out massive executions
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The SS (Schuftzstaffel) led by Heinrich Luitopold, initially created to offer personal protection to Hitler carried out killings of about 1.4 million people. They forced civilians, most Jews to dig pits then fire their guns at them to fall into the pits. This is not only an unknown fact about World War II, but also tops the list of the most inhumane treatments that ever took place.
6. The Nazi’s flag symbol was actually an ancient symbol of the Hindu religion
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The symbol, known as Swastika among the ancient Hindu religions comes from a Sanskrit name, meaning hooked cross. It was also used by the Greeks as a symbol of good fortune and fertility. This was actually the opposite of what the Nazis did during the war: killing over 12 million people. Ever since, the symbol has always been associated with evil as a result of the cruelty of the Nazi reign that make up the most horrific part of the history of World War II.
5. The Japanese Balloon Bombs
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Japanese launched over 1000 wind-driven weapons made from rubberized silk and paper balloons to the United States during WW2. However, despite most of the balloon bombs hitting their targets, the only reported deaths out of it were a family of 6 members in Oregon, which included 5 children and an expectant woman while on picnic. These Japanese bombs formed an important part of the history of World War II, especially in their rivalry with the US.
4. Birth of 007 character
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The prominent 007 character was actually based on Dusko Popov, Yugoslavian born spy. Ian Fleming, the author of 007 got his insights about the character from this spy in the WW2. Popov spoke at least 5 languages and even devised his own formula for the invisible ink. Now you know that the 007 character isn’t imaginary like the Marvel characters, it’s is actually entwined with the history of World War II.
3. The war was made up of two groups of countries
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World War II was fought in two groups, the ‘Axis’ and the ‘Allies’. The main allied powers composed of United States, Britain, Russia and China while the major Axis power was made up of Germany, Japan and Italy. This was an important part of WW2 as it saw the Axis losing the war thus forming an important part of the history of World War II.
2. The invention of radar
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As much as the World War II resulted to lots of destruction, it also lead to an invention as well. In 1935, Robert Watson-Watt, a British engineer was developing a type of “death ray” aimed at destroying the aircrafts of enemies through radio waves. Instead, the “death ray” evolved into radar, now used for radio ranging and detection.
1. The Japanese had thirst for power over Asia
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Just around the same period when Germany through Hitler, was in the quest for power in Europe, Japan through emperor Hirohito also wanted to conquer and control the entire Asia. They started their war on China and this established the greatest rivalry between these two countries that still exist even among their citizens up to date. This is perhaps among the unknown World War II facts that tend to explain the in-depth rivalry that we’ve even seen in movies about the Chinese and Japanese rivalry.
It’s indeed very funny how many Americans pride themselves in the fairy tale that US won the WW2 single handedly. For a keen observer, it is possible to realize that the whole war seemed to have been carried out in a planned format. Well, it could be just our own view or simply a bunch of peculiar and weird coincidences. But all in all, it brings a lot of unknown World War II facts into the light.
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